Integrating customer management system with WhatsApp
There is no denying that CRM integration with WhatsApp offers many advantages for developing and existing companies. But first, there are certain things you need to understand about these mergers and sort them out.
If you have an applicable CRM system, and use WhatsApp Business to communicate with your customers, the first regulates customer data and improves customer service and relationships. Given what the huge impact of WhatsApp and its reach as the world’s most popular messaging app, not achieving the latter means missing a huge opportunity to take care of your customers.
If you use the two separately, you’ll know that having to reconcile and switch between them is not that effective. The good news is that WhatsApp allows CRM integration so that you can integrate CR efforts into a single channel for a more effective workflow.
Whether you’re using pilot or lesser-known programs, you don’t have to worry anymore — it’s time to integrate them with WhatsApp communication efforts. In this way, your agents can work more efficiently, provide better customer service, enhance customer retention, increase sales, and ultimately grow your business.
All of this looks very attractive and you can’t wait to go straight to it. But before you start integrating WhatsApp with your CRM, there are certain things to keep in mind and prepare for before whatsapp merges with CRM.
Important things you need to know before integrating CRM with WhatsApp
WhatsApp API numbers recorded
Merging WhatsApp with CRM requires your WhatsApp API account. Because WhatsApp API accounts are linked to a phone number, the number used must be valid and held by the company.
Unlike a normal WhatsApp app (whether personal or WhatsApp Business), the API number can be a number or a mobile phone number. As long as it is able to receive voice calls or SMS messages, it is good to start.
If you’re already using the free WhatsApp Business app and upgrading to WhatsApp API, you can transfer this number to the API. However, this will require deleting the original account set up for whatsApp Business.
Also note that any numbers for the built-in WhatsApp API are not transferable. This means that once you select a WhatsApp API number, it cannot be used for other WhatsApp API accounts.
Integrating CRM with WhatsApp means you have the ability to communicate with your customers via the world’s most common chat app, most (if not all) of which are probably already running.
Given whatsapp’s 2 billion user base, you might think it makes a great marketing channel. Although it may seem the most ideal way to spread promotional messages and raise brand awareness, business shortcuts rarely exist, something you need to be very careful with.
Having the customer’s WhatsApp number in the file does not mean that you are allowed to write it freely. This is because WhatsApp API messaging is done only through empowerment.
According to WhatsApp’s policy:
In order to start a WhatsApp message to someone, you must first receive a subscription permission confirming their desire to receive future messages from you on WhatsApp. (a) It should be clearly stated that the person has chosen to receive messages from you via WhatsApp and (b) clearly mentions your business name.
It doesn’t seem any clearer.
WhatsApp also states that messages started by companies must be what they call a “message template,” which is basically transactional messages. Examples of transaction messages include airlines telling passengers about flight changes, e-commerce shipping updates, refund confirmations, and more.
In other words, aggregated marketing messages are strictly prohibited.
Compliance with data privacy laws
One of the advantages of integrating your CRM with WhatsApp is the convenience of being able to run customer support using a shared inbox accessible by multiple agents.
But to adjust the principle: with great comfort, comes a great responsibility.
With a lot of attention and people running what can be sensitive information, it’s important to make sure that your use adheres to WhatsApp business policies.
Something important, too:
- You are responsible for obtaining the necessary permits to “collect, use and share” customer data
- Any data collected should be used only for “messaging support”
- Do not ask customers to share “sensitive identifiers” such as personal and financial information
- Do not send and request health-related information
- Do not share customer information with other customers
Regardless of WhatsApp policies, there may be local privacy laws that you may need to comply with, such as the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Given the sensitivity of these problems and the severe penalties that may result from violating these regulations, this is certainly something you want to solve before merging CRM with WhatsApp.
The evolution of WhatsApp-CRM integration
Perhaps one of the most important things to consider is whether the CRM you are using (or considering using) is well-suited to whatsapp integration.
The good news is that WhatsApp can be integrated with most market-leading CRMs. These include but are not limited to:
- Microsoft Dynamics
Although CRMs vary from one to the other, the benefits of integrating WhatsApp with them are very similar.
As mentioned earlier, it provides shared inbox mail for messages that allow access to many team members. It’s also easy to send broadcast messages and you can also manage and filter your WhatsApp contacts more easily.
Access WhatsApp Business API
Apart from owning an account with CRM of your choice, another prerequisite for integrating it with WhatsApp Business API is whatsapp Business API.
Access to WhatsApp Business API requires you to apply to WhatsApp themselves for an API account and then get approval.
Although you can do it yourself by browsing the parent company’s developer’s Facebook page, the process can be technical and tedious, not to mention time-consuming. If you’re well versed in this area or have a team of web developers who can help, by all means, look for it.
Otherwise, the best way to apply for access is through the official WhatsApp Business Solutions (BSP) provider. Not only will the process be faster, but whatsApp BSPs often have higher acceptance rates.
In addition, WhatsApp BSPs can also help set up your interface and other WhatsApp mergers you might need for your business.
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